Viola Gets Away With “Murder”

Can producer Shonda Rimes do for Viola Davis what she did for Kerry Washington: turn her into both a TV star and a pop-culture icon? We shall see: “How To Get Away with Murder,” the ABC show in which Davis stars as a criminal-law professor, premieres in September. Davis has the distinction of being the only actor in the past 35 years to wipe Meryl Streep off the screen (in “Doubt”), so I would never underestimate her. Still, the “Murder” trailer above looks pretty formulaic. But Rimes knows from formula: her “Grey’s Anatomy” is rife with cliches, but it’s still on the air, years after everyone I know has stopped watching it.

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